Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Bleak Giving Way To Sparkling NEW Interests!

Carol Channing with Kevin Ligon (Interviewing him on Tuesday!)
Wisdom Is Born, Stupidity is Learned.
-Russian Proverb

Happy Saturday, August 12th, 2017!
September 12 is the 255th day of the year . There are 110 days remaining until the end of the year. 
It is an overcast day here in New York. Thus, I'm writing a blog. My one beach day of the year has been postponed till tomorrow. I'm trying not to spend too much time on one issue today, but rather to bring attention to several. I got so wrapped up in today's blog that that I found it hard to deal with anything else. I'm taking care of one issue the best I can and moving to the next without dwelling on the first.That is the ONLY way we
Working HARD to make this book a reality!
move forward and achieve progress. All that are mentioned in today's blog are all doing the same. Our focus is strong, and we tackle many issues efficiently.
I have important projects that I have been working on for a while.
Now is the time to move these projects to front and center. Creativity is flowing thick and fast, but it feels harder than usual to be heard.
I'm facing a time of challenging communications, especially in the realms of work and money.
Discipline is something I take for granted: I've never had a problem understanding what it takes to get from "A" to "B."
Given that I have such powerful disciplinary abilities, why not take myself in the direction I really desire to go?
I do feel, however, that the stars are working in my favor this week and I'm driven to try new things
As I began my blog today, I was listening to the 40s channel on Sirius XM, most specifically Buddy Clark singing Peg O' My Heart as I type these words. I've mentioned before that I always have music playing in the background as I work and almost every day for an hour or two, I'm transported to the 1940s through the magic of radio and music.  This particular song was a hit in 1947.
September 12th in 1947 was a Tuesday. The second World War was over and the country was optimistic and looking at a period of renewal in this country.

The US president was Harry S. Truman (Democratic) and 'the buck stopped with him'. No need to blame anyone else. Life with Father, directed by Michael Curtiz, was one of the most viewed movies released in 1947. The number one film today is The Dark Tower.
This is the description from their website: Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

1947 was a time in which people craved, and got, great entertainment. In 1947, when night fell, the city moved indoors: into bars, cabarets, restaurants, nightclubs, and dance halls. 
I have been reminded on several occasions this week of a constantly changing New York and I hope to share these with you in today's blog. 
As things change, it makes way for the new. THAT'S what we have to address. The world is constantly evolving. Let's all pray that it is for the better. That includes all that we hold dear. 

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
-Dr. Seuss

I've been thinking a LOT about what was, what is, and what MIGHT be. 
I've had many reminders all around me. It may have to do with the fact that last week marked my 38th anniversary of coming to New York.
I made up my mind on August 5th, 1974 that five years from that day I would move to New York...and I did.

The Conway Library LOVED me. I probably read every book housed on, not only about the world of entertainment, but also New York. 
I had a vision, or at least I thought I did(!), of a New York City that I don't think EVER existed. As I was announcing my move to the New York City of that time, It was mostly poo poohed by disbelieving family and friends. New York around this time was a city battling bankruptcy. It was a New York of seediness, crime, and change. 
New York City Subway circa 1975
The one thing that will never change about New York is change. 
As I was dreaming of being an entertainer in New York, Rosie Novellino-Mearns was living that life, most specifically, as a dancer at one of the greatest motion picture palaces ever built, Radio City Music Hall.
On Wednesday of this week, my producer Russ Woolley and I presented a FACEBOOK LIVE: Roundtable Live from The Laurie Beechman Theater. Among the guests were drag entertainer Robin Kradles and author and former dancer, Rosie Novillino-Mearns. I would also add activist to Rosie's resume. I used Rosie's book as the backbone of our discussion. There has always been an ebb and flow of the changes in the New York that we know. There were 9 of us on the roundtable including Russ and I and with the exception of two on the roundtable, none of us were native New Yorkers.  
Rosie and I both share a love of what those palaces mean to those of us who love classic film. Now, I want to mention that Rosie was not a Rockette. She was part of the ballet troupe at Radio City Music Hall. 
I saw a horrible LIVE version of The Wizard of Oz at Radio City Music Hall in 1989
How many of you even knew that Radio City Music Hall had a ballet troupe? Well, they did. It was in 1975 that Rosie found out that not only were HER days numbered at Radio City Music Hall, but so was the magnificent Hall itself, it was slated for demolition! 
Rosie states in her HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book, Saving Radio City Music Hall: A Dancer's True Story, that when Rockafeller Center announced that Radio City Music Hall would be demolished, there was no immediate outcry.

The true story of how Radio City Music Hall was saved from demolition is told at last. Nearly forty years later, Rosemary Novellino-Mearns, Dance Captain of the legendary Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company during the 1970s, tells the amazing story of how she motivated a small group of dedicated colleagues, friends, media and political allies to join forces, challenge the Rockefeller establishment and, against all odds, save "the Showplace of the Nation." 
From Wikipedia: By the 1970s, changes in film distribution made it difficult for Radio City to secure exclusive bookings of many films; furthermore, the theater preferred to show only G-rated movies, which further limited their film
choices as the decade wore on.
On January 5, 1978, Alton Marshall president of Rockefeller Center, announced that due to a projected loss of $3.5 million for the upcoming year Radio City Music Hall would close its doors on April 12.
Plans for alternate uses for the structure included converting the theater into tennis courts, a shopping mall or the American Stock Exchange. Upon hearing the announcement, Rosemary Novellino, Dance Captain of the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company, motivated a group of dedicated colleagues and friends to form The Showpeople's Committee to Save Radio City Music Hall
Joining forces with the media and political allies, including New York Lt. Gov. Mary Anne Krupsak, they challenged the Rockefeller establishment, against all odds, to save "The Showplace of the Nation". A monologue by Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, an irate commentary on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update given by John Belushi, local news, The Today Show and perhaps most importantly an appearance by Showpeople's Committee members Rosemary Novellino and Ron Hokuff on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder mobilized love for the Music Hall nationally. On March 28, 1978 New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the interior of Radio City Music Hall a landmark guaranteeing that the building would remain a theatre.

On May 12, 1978, Radio City Music Hall was placed on The National Register of Historic Places. Regular film showings at Radio City ended in 1979 and in 1980, after a renovation, it reopened to the public. 
Read the book! It captures a desperate but rewarding time in the history of New York City's landscape. 
A true New York Landmark,  Iris Apfel
Also, earlier this week,  I had a chance encounter yesterday with one of my idols (believe it or not), Iris Apfel. We chatted for a few moments but I didn't get a picture but she was everything I imagined her to be! Wow! What an incredible woman! That's an interview I would LOVE to have!

Fear is the thing making us feel like we are not enough. - Mind Body Green

Iris Apfel lives fully her authentic self. If you are not familiar with who she is, research her. You, too, will be inspired by her!  

Now, I would like to share with you others who inspire me (one more than others!). PLEASE go see the shows that I suggest here and check out who these trailblazers are. We ALL are in this together.  

Rob Brydon (Far Left) Steve Coogan (Center), and Tom Clegg
British Actor, Tom Clegg, Guildhall Graduate, musician and creator of short films and other video graphic works, has appeared at The National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, and A Marked Man for Invertigo Theatre at HighTide Festival UK. Tom has appeared in the original West End production of "Shakespeare in Love", and his TV credits include Doctors BBC. "The Trip to Spain", an international release directed by Michael Winterbottom with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, is Tom's first feature film.  Be on the lookout for this!  

Ghost of Vaudeville returns: Friday, September 22nd @ 7pm
Saturday, October 14th @ 4:30 pm
Thursday November 9th @ 7pm
Don't Tell Mama

There is a lot of anger in the world today as I work on this blog but I want to share with you a project that my husband has been working on. He is a landscape architect. 
Piermont, where we live, has a beautiful new fountain.Danny installed it yesterday in the
Sparkill Ice Skating Pond at Eleanor Straud Park,

“It’s a first physical step to improve the aquatic health and physical appearance of the pond,”.

The fountain, which is illuminated at night, isn’t costing Piermont taxpayers a cent. The Piermont Civic Association paid for it from an anonymous donor’s $3,000 grant. It specified that the PCA use the money to test an aeration fountain pump in the pond.

It has long been a disgusting mess, choked with milfoil pondweed and algae. It is a shallow and stagnant breeding habitat for mosquitoes.  Despite efforts by Piermont officials, Orangetown has been slow to complete its plans to improve the water flow and pond depth. The anonymous donor hopes the fountain will spur the town to finally move ahead.

“It is late this season to really expect to clear the pond weeds with only an aerating fountain,” admits

Dan.  “However,” he adds, “the winter will kill off this year’s aggressive foliage bloom and the fountain will have a better chance next spring to keep the pond more open and clear. By then the town’s pond improvement plans may be completed. We need better water flow and a little more water depth to have a healthy pond habitat.

“In the meantime the fountain is a delightful civic park feature,” adds Dan. “It also brings increased public awareness to the efforts to clean up the neglected pond.” (Thank you, Bob Samuels and The Piermont Newsletter Staff for this article).

Clifford Bell is a man whose making a difference with music. I'd love to bring this anniversary
episode of his podcast to more people's attention.....lots of clips and discussion of Barbra's (If you ask Barbra who, I give up!)  support for this year's OUR NAME IS BARBRA. 

In 2013 (Has it really been 4 years!?!), I interviewed Nancy Opel for my blog and Call on Dolly project when it was announced that she was going to play Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at The Ford Theater in New York in association with The Signature Theater under the direction of Eric Schaeffer. I even went to Washington DC to attend her first preview. I loved interviewing Nancy. I loved her as Dolly. Here is that interview.  
Nancy is currently starring off-Broadway in Curvy Widow.
I will be interviewing Nancy on Tuesday afternoon, August 15th at 5PM to talk about the road that has led to Curvy Widow! You will not want to miss this interview. Follow me on Facebook and don't miss out! 
Click HERE to see Nancy sing the titular song from when she was in rehearsals for this production when it played The St. George Playhouse. 
Tune in on Tuesday but in the meantime, order tickets HERE

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. - Socrates

I'm throwing back the curtain and showing my followers the little man behind the Wizard who is always trying to put forth a positive image of a man. 

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience!

You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and feels your feelings.

Who Will Be Our Mystery Guest on September 10th?
Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One September 10th 1PM Laurie Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:
w/Ann Dawson, Emily McNamara, Ben Rimalower... AND a Beloved Cabaret Mystery Guest

Richard Skipper.....! Entertainer, storyteller of great show business stories, friend to many of the well known living legends.......many of which are in his monthly series, Richard Skipper Celebrates. He is a walking encyclopedia of Broadway, Hollywood and NYC cabaret. He imparts all this wonderful knowledge to his audience every month in a way that makes the audience leave one of his performance with a smile on their face and wanting mire. Nothing like a Richard Skipper production. PERFECTION!
-Bryon Sommers, NYC
See Ben Rimalower on September 10th in Richard Skipper Celebrates

I have had the great pleasure of seeing the show the talented Richard Skipper presents at the Laurie
Richard Skipper is the consummate host.  I always enjoy the shows and all the performers--and eventhe little film intros by Michael Masci!  The theme song Michael picked for the Father's Day opening montage is one of my favorite TV themes--how did you know? Keep up the good work Richard--looking forward to your next season of shows!Glenn Hochberg, Easton, PA 

See Emily McNamara September 10th!
Richard Skipper Celebrates... at the Laurie Beechman Theatre is a delight of a show. You are always guaranteed stellar performances, wonderful stories, and a lot of belly laughs. I walk away from every show having received an education - finding new appreciation for the music featured that month.
A most exceptional entertainer presents an incredibly satisfying series. I always look forward to the next one.

Abby Judd, Lights and Sound at The Laurie Beechman Theater
Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs ,


Nancy Opel as Dolly Levi with Jp Qualters, Harris Milgrim, Kyle Vaughn and Alex Puette in the Ford’s and Signature Theatre co-production of “Hello, Dolly!” Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Please LIKE (if you do!) and SHARE!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  

Keeping America great through Art!     

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

No comments:

Post a Comment